It is astonishing just how many critters are out there who are to date unknown to science. Even well known groups like birds and mammals occasionally have a new species described. But for large groups, like insects, marine invertebrates, or plants, finding new species is much more common, particularly in little studied areas like tropical forests or deep sea marine habitats. The International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University has released it's list of the top ten new species for 2007 (click here for photos of these amazing critters). These include a new species of fruit bat from the Philippines (Esselstyn 2007), a mushroom discovered on the campus of Imperial College in London (Taylor et al. 2007), a bright pink millipede from Thailand (Enghoff et al. 2007) and an electric ray from South Africa whose genus name is reminiscent of a popular brand of vacuum cleaners (Compagno and Heemstra 2007). Discovering new species is just one of the many potential exciting aspects of museum-based zoology!
ESSELSTYN, J.A. (2007). A New species of stripe-faced fruit bat (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae: Styloctenium) from the Philippines. Journal of Mammalogy, 88(4), 951. DOI: 10.1644/06-MAMM-A-294R.1
TAYLOR, A., HILLS, A., SIMONINI, G., MUNOZ, J., EBERHARDT, U. (2007). Xerocomus silwoodensis sp. nov., a new species within the European X. subtomentosus complex. Mycological Research, 111(4), 403-408. DOI: 10.1016/j.mycres.2007.01.014
ENGHOFF, H.,SUTCHARIT, C.,PANHA, S. (2007) The shocking pink dragon millipede, Desmoxytes purpurosea, a colorful new species from Thailand (Diplododa: Polydesmida: Paradoxosomatidae). Zootaxa, 1563, 31-36.
COMPAGNO, L. J. V.,HEEMSTRA, P. C. (2007) Electrolux addisoni, a new genus and species of electric ray from the east coast of South Africa (Rajiformes: Torpedinoidei: Narkidae), with a review or torpedinoid taxonomy. Smithiana Bulletin, 7, 15-49.